David Rohde writes in, Our Fear of Al-Qaeda Hurts Us More Than Al-Qaeda Does,
Twelve years after September 11, 2001, the United States’ obsession with al Qaeda is doing more damage to the nation than the terrorist group itself.
On the surface, it's hard not to disagree with him. So much that has gone on under Presidents Bush and Obama has been predicated on this idea that we want to stop the next 9/11 BEFORE it happens. That's why we've undertaken such extraordinary measures like curbing civil rights and spying on anything that moves.
But, if you dig only an inch or two below the surface, things don't add up. The erosion of our civil rights hasn't made us safer; all it has done is make Americans less secure in our public and private lives. The plethora of intelligence programs doesn't appear to be aimed at stopping terrorism at all. What the myriad of recent revelations has shown is that surveillance is being conducted on ordinary citizens of the world and even leaders of allied countries. Unless you think the Chancellor of Germany or the President of Brazil is a closet terrorist, it would seem that the prevention of terrorism isn't what this is all about.
In my mind's eye, this seeming obsession is nothing more than a ruse. Terrorism is this generation's bogeyman. Our leaders use it to shift away our attention from their true obsessions: power and wealth.
When you scrape away all the hubris, power and money for the few is what we're left with.